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Everything posted by LadyLisbette

  1. I'm so intrigued by your family's cooking/restaurant legacy. It reminds me of Mel J, with all that culinary expertise in the blood! Warning, more home owner moans to follow. Well, the plumber can't find the source of the water under the house, so will come back with (family business) reinforcements...meanwhile I attacked the garden, and noticed mosquitoes hovering -- already?! -- above and around the pool pool. What is a pool pool? Well, we inherited an above ground pool, which is tarped, and so the rain created a pool on top of the pool. JUST what I need right now. The temperature spiked up to 80 in recent days, and will now zig zag up and down until the hot season...suddenly the time is NOW to get rid of that water and the mosquito larvae. A bumper crop of mosquitoes would really make me mad! The surface of the pool pool is about 48 sq ft and several feet deep, so I pretty much wore myself out with the bucket, and made a huge mess as I figured out how futile my efforts were considering it's about to rain again in the next few days. So I looked into bleach and vinegar, ruling them both out. in the end I opted for a couple of tablespoons of olive oil which should suffocate everything underneath that oil slick, and I added cinnamon leaf EO on principle. Then I got a hot tip about mosquito dunkers, which are pretty safe, so now there is larvicide in the water, too. That should do it, if I caught it in time!! Meanwhile it all made me so cranky, so I am in the process of attitude adjustment...By the time I got home with the dunkers I was starving so I'm living large with a giant smoothie - almond milk, raw eggs, frozen blueberries, heaps of greens, and a big dollop of almond butter. This will tide me over until I can cook later. As I was weeding, aware of my overwhelm, it came to me that - drum roll - I can't do it all by myself! Sound familiar? So, back to your point about the money homeowners spend on repairs, etc...I need me a Bob Smeck. My mom had a gardener friend who would always come over and help her in the garden, and over the years he became like a member of our family. Yep, I need help...and I've changed my mind about the early weed whacking...I was going to wait until the blooming wildness peaked so as not to cut off any pollinating...but there are some thick weed areas on our property that are NOT blooming, including poison oak! so I'm calling in reinforcements of my own. That should cheer me up, and before this lunch meeting, too...I want so much to have time for more fun things like learning to prune the roses (2 bushes, and I don't even know what kind they are) and designing/planting the beds I've been weeding, rather than weeding until I drop dead. As for your cafeteria cookie, I've been doing things like that, too. Was there a trigger? Were you hungry? Feeling something unpleasant? Bad mood of some kind? Re-living anything? My brother is reading a book right now that I want to read too, called The Body Keeps the Score. I read a review of it in Brainpickings (there she is again!) and something in there made me think I should read it. I got an old familiar hit about going into the center of something painful in order to unravel it, or otherwise put light on it. I keep getting the idea of sabotage, which I know IS what I'm doing....and meanwhile, as I might have mentioned a few days ago, thinking about another W30 in April to keep me on my toes. You've done so much research on lotion, and I'm so impressed. Are the pastilles you linked above better than bees wax? I'm guessing it serves the same purpose, but I know you had a smart reason. Thanks for sharing the information! Maybe a hot shower will cheer me up. The lunch menu is not W30 but a favorite of mine - a pesto pasta with haricot vert, sundried tomatoes, kalamatas, chicken, pignolas, with a green salad, tabouli, and humus and pita. Writing to you, I realize I could make zoodles for a W30 version for those who want it (me!)...
  2. Your cooking sounds yummy. The lotion, too...I'm about to experiment with putting some store bought aloe vera gel into my next batch of shea/fractionated coconut oil to see what happens. Next season I should have garden fresh aloe to work with. Congrats on getting your hubbie to open up to the oils! Nothing like a warm wash cloth - so comforting, and the massage, nothing beats that! I've never seen store-bought gyro meat...and I know this sounds naive, but when I get gyros from a street vendor or a little Greek joint for example, do you suppose that is homemade or a toxic batch such as you listed above? It never occurred to me to ask if it was homemade, I just *ass*ume it is. Just thinking about gyros makes me crave that flavor profile and texture, along with crunchy chopped romaine, and the tahini sauce. There's a place up in Redwood cou Isn't it amazing to see the blue sky after so much rain and weather? We're enjoying that, too...paradise for these days of shoulder season before the heat (and then again after the heat next fall). If it were like this all the time the population would explode here. Alas, the harsh seasons are not for everyone. For now, it is paradise, and it's a super bloom year too with the wild flowers going crazy. It was such a relief to finally get the composter up! In one day I've attracted fruit flies already, so I need to add more brown material, and I'm reading that if that doesn't work, to pour hot water in there, and across the surface of the bin to kill the flies and eggs. Has this happened to you? I'm not surprised really, as I had two big well-contained buckets filled with very fragrant produce scraps...I layered it pretty well, I thought, with dried leaves, sticks, and plant material, and even cotton scraps from old pants, so...learning curve here. Looks like I'll be hosting a lunch meeting of 8-9 next week here at home - I'm looking forward to it, and also feeling, and resisting some self-imposed pressure to get the place as perfect as possible. But these are friends and fellow volunteers, and will understand that not all the art is up yet, and from some angles it still very much looks like people getting settled into a new place. Argh, so much to DO! This place is teaching me patience. The plumber is here for a few new lovely issues (the plumbing from the washer seems to be leaking somewhere and I've found moisture in the crawl space, among other things) ... so I'm growing into this gigantic responsibility...and will take some time to make the eggroll bowls when he's gone! Slowly but surely, hubs is preferring and asking for the W30 cooking. Now if I can stop eating the non-compliant add-on things like saltines and chips.
  3. I'll definitely be on the look out for the McBride/Meyer project, and am glad to know about it. Sounds awesome. Too bad your taco fillings were so disappointing...I too love lamb...and I must know, what's in gyro meat that is so terrible? I'm guessing it's NOT the garlic, oregano, etc....but some additive in American gyros? I used to make an oven version of gyros a lot with lamb and beef that I'll have to look up again soon. I learned how to salt the meat, and then let it chill immediately before putting through the cuis, and that really did the trick, getting the juices to stay intact. YUM. I pressed it into a shallow loaf, and when it came out, thinly sliced it and roasted the pieces again until they were crispy around the edges. Not the same as a vertical rotisserie of course, but a close second for a plain kitchen! We're home at a decent hour for a Saturday, so I'm going to assemble my composter and hopefully the new CD tower far, I'm liking my morning exercise routine of a brisk hike, then weeding and gardening. Still have to get the stretching in, but I enjoy being outside so much it's hard to stop, then I'm racing the clock. A good problem to have. WIll have to cook tonight because all the leftovers are gone! I'm so, so sorry about your friend. Death by suicide, if that is what it was, makes it even harder, as if that was possible
  4. We love Christian McBride! Have seen him bunches of times at Monterey Jazz Festival. Have a GREAT time! Ooh, I have been slacking on my new rule about no chips...but I will take your queue and get right back on fact, I'm thinking I might need an April W30 because I seem to be back to some pre-tty bad habits. If I can get my act together for the duration of March, I will just carry on...I really need to. Bad. I'm eating W30 plus forbidden things. And I need to stop. Me too. Fortunately my back is a LOT better. I have a very big job of weeding on my hands now that the rain has subsided and everything is growing like MAD. Some of my yard has Godzilla weeds. So every day is an hour or two of weeding, and that is my movement. This is good, as long as I remember to stretch after, which I have not been doing. I wonder what happened to your post? = ( I remembered her name now, Kirbz it was, who helpfully recommended a broccoli soup when you had copious quantities of broccoli on hand at one time back in December.... I don't think she had ever made it, just found it online...which I will do again...We have posted SO much in these months, who can remember every little thing? It's hard to believe that for most of my adult life I've said that anything that went through a meat grinder sounded like something I didn't want to eat. Ha. Now it's my preferred way to eat!!!! So versatile. And parties called that is hilarious! How. Fun. I like your Willie Nelson quotation. I saw him live in San Jose once, and I'm so glad I did. I don't have his CDs but I love him. My next cooking will include chili and eggroll bowls. The other night I made shrimp patties to go with the leftover ginger mayo, and I discovered a different and better blade to use in my cuisinart that had somehow escaped me. So I'm chalking that up to a hidden bonus of moving. But! in the middle of the night I could still smell garlic and it distracted me terribly from sleep. Don't know if I mentioned it but we don't have an oven hood and vent. So. I am readier than ever to buy a grill, and I have it all picked out. I'm hoping my stepmom might buy it for us. She offered to buy us a grill when we got married, so hopefully the offer is still open and I am psyching myself to ask her. But I need to get the stinky and also splattery stuff done outdoors. And when it gets hot in a few months I think I'll also be really glad. Looking forward to this. Did you make food for your friend? Happy weekend to you!
  5. Yay for reconnecting with old friends! You are showing the way to your friend, and it sounds like she may be ripe to receive a model of elimination diet since her recent experience. I understand her hesitation around bread - that is such a common one, man, bread is a tough one to let go of, right up there with breakfast-as-usual -- again, because of...bread! And all the wheaty understandable. Now, if I don't get a good dinner for breakfast, I'm just lost. Ha. With your words in mind, I picked up a giant bag of haricot vert, and have been loving them. They are not garden fresh, but still edible, and I'm eating them at every meal so I don't have to throw any in the compost. Also got a big bag of broccoli and will look up that recipe that our compatriot recommended to you from the Dec thread. I had a fun Saturday, too! A neighbor who we were already friendly with over the years organized a potluck to welcome us to the neighborhood, so all 4 of the neighfbors on our hill came out to play and it was a dreamy fun night. There is a fifth house, but it's a vacation rental. Anyhoo, it was soul food to enjoy a gathering with friends, and the other neighbors who we were acquainted with but didn't know that well. I took (hubs stayed home with a sinus infection) wonton meatballs with a ginger lime mayo. It didn't go with the Italian theme (I didn't know!) but everyone seemed to enjoy it. We're also polishing off the last of the orange dijon chicken thighs that are a new favorite, and tomorrow I'll make shrimp patties so I have something to go with the left over ginger mayo...I have 2 lbs of grass fed ground beef, so maybe burgers or balls, I'm not sure...maybe a veggie hamburger soup like my stepmom used to make. I had been kind of depressed and discouraged lately, but today I took a good hike and did yoga, but careful not to overdo it again, and that gave me a boost. I love the wisdom about function! That's on the nose - thank you!
  6. BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind: Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned. Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you. Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust. A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew, A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost. The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,— They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve. More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world. Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
  7. Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand the inner tug to DO something, take food, help out, to just-be-there. Can you/will you make food and drop it off at the door step or with his family, or something, so that you can still honor his request for privacy? The gift of food, and from you two, seems a very moving, and also practical gift. It's harder to just-be-there from afar. Ha, back to the quiet space, right? Big surprise: I am in that place, too. I learned that my friend died yesterday at 1230. Waiting to hear about services or something. I think I'll send a big bouquet of flowers to his spouse...I appreciated that when my mother died. My heart is with your friends and mine, too. = (
  8. Happy Mardi Gras to you, too! Thank you for the great and encouraging suggestions, and I am due for a massage! I'm also longing to use my new (to me) claw foot tub, alas, there has been a big saga with the tub, that hopefully will be resolved soon, and when it is, epsom salt baths +++++ are on the agenda!! Can't wait. Also, glad your mom is better! Yes, the eggroll bowls were delicious, and I thought of you when I drizzled the sesame oil over the pan! Hubs liked it so much he asked to take the leftovers to work for lunch yesterday - that is a huge breakthrough - I was happy to share it! So I'm getting somewhere with your help in this department... Isn't it amazing how much a difference the amount of veg makes in that "belly satisfied" feeling? Oh! When I was prepping the eggroll bowls, I used MJ's spice blend to turn my plain ground chicken into breakfast sausage, and I came upon her better butter recipe in the cookbook...I'm inspired by all that you are doing with ghee...and one of these days I am going to take a page out of your book and try that out! Thanks for showing the way, and reminding me. Haricot vert! Yum. Where I live, every time I see it at the market it doesn't look right to me - too big. Yes, the prosciutto is so fragile...I think the pancetta might have been a little less fragile, but equally delicious - that is what I used last time - let me know if you ever experiment. I love the quote from The Fountainhead. I agree that it gets right to the heart of what we are doing here. Lately I am reminded of the importance of quietness, and solitude in finding the moment, finding "I" in that quiet, where we are a part of the greater universe. "I" disappears as we merge with "the is" and then come back to "I". That is such a nourishing place. Connecting to that place makes it somehow easier and simpler to know, and come from "I"...words are clumsy here, I fear it may look corny, but I think you know what I mean, as you also like the quiet, yes? I think that the greatest things look corny in theory, but are profound in practice, aside from words. I'm in a strange state this morning - a friend sent me a really excellent article on caring for a person at the end of life - one of the best things I have ever read on the subject. As I replied to her email, another email came in with news that a dear family friend is actively dying. It launched me from theory to practice in a quick moment. Deep sigh. And responsibilities wait for me, so I have to get busy...I will devote the day to my friend, and his husband. = (
  9. Ah! So good that you're finding your groove again, cycling around to a renewed place. Sounds like a mini-spring for you, personally, even when spring is nowhere in sight weather-wise, where you are...yet still a life cycle certainly is in progress. For Kitty, too, yay! Weight gain is good! Your efforts pay off. Isn't it funny how quickly people give unwanted advice when there is illness? I'm thinking about the know what you're doing. Advice is for the benefit of the advisor. Keep doing what you're doing - progress may be slow, but slow and steady wins the race. I've never seen any of those three movies. Ayn Rand has been on my radar since I was a kid - my older sister used to quote from her and talk about her all the time but I have yet to read her you recommend the movie Atlas Shrugged? I looked up the other two, and they both look great, especially the Resistance Banker, can't wait to see that. It seems we will never exhaust the amazing stories from WWII. Thanks for the leads. You inspired me about the beet stems and greens, that sounds pretty, and so nutritious. That's funny, I too have felt lately that cooking is a chore, and yesterday, had to force a little momentum upon myself to get things going...then I was fine, and it led to a big productive sequence of also cleaning and organizing my annex. (the tail end of the unpacking seems to be as tedious as the tail end of the packing up out of the old place, all the little stuff). I made potato onion soup, a tray of roast veg, and my coveted chicken apple patties. If he is super tired, or we have an early alarm for travel or backpacking, my husband will sleep in on the front end, but I don't think that counts as sleeping in, more a survival thing. ... But if he's feeling fine, he's a total night owl. Alas, most Sunday mornings give me solitude, which is not always a bad thing, right? Oh! That day of my last post, turns out I seriously over-did it, so I have been in recovery, but I think I'm emerging in a good place. Yes, it amazing how our bodies respond so quickly! On that day, Wednesday, I hiked near my house (a bust, didn't like it, that's another story, but the trial and error continues) and came home to a 20 minute yoga dance DVD from the library - it was silly - I won't do it again, but it got me moving...then returning to familiar territory, did some core work on the floor and performed as I did last fall, before all the crazy moving stuff, and also added some new things. I finished up with kundalini yoga which includes some intense spinal work. I love the kundalini practice, I've been doing it for 25 years, have never had any problems, and have always felt it KEPT me from having back problems! But the next day I had a back ache that kind of scared me. I should not have done ALL of those things at once - I took Friday off and felt terribly guilty about it because I had already taken Wednesday off, too...I think it was/is a muscle strain, but I also got a few back spasms, so it caused me some fear. AND it caused me to slow down and get very serious about where I'm at and what I'm doing, etc etc...every day is a little better. All I'm doing for the time being is some gentle yoga. I continue journaling, and meditation. On my Friday off, I watched a movie, too, Anonymous, another slice of hidden history. I liked it a lot! How is your mother doing with the vertigo? Thank you for that link to WebMD - it validated what I suspected was happening. Holly, I finally did the DIY physical therapy recommended by WebMD, on Saturday night before bed, and it WORKED! I haven't had any spells since. And now I know what to do if it recurs, which it could. This was a bright spot that I needed, because I was feeling like I was falling apart. Not sure if this is relevant for her, but here is the link that guided me: In the days after my last post, I noticed my joints hurting, so I think that was my sugar binge and a day of bread. Must remember that! It's abated now, which keeps me on my path! I'm waiting on the heater guy since our heater died yesterday -- and I'll make eggroll bowls while I wait! Here's to consistency, and solidarity!
  10. Hi there!! Thank you for checking in!! - nice to see you and read your news! No, I have never had emu before, so i learned a lot from your story. That was very clever of you to track down the farmer, and generous to buy some for yourself, too. Yes, given his background, I imagine he was very sympathetic, and that you have his respect for the lengths you are going to for your beloved kitty. Is Big Boy not willing to eat the emu? Or is it still cost prohibitive given the price and the long drive? In other areas, when I'm working with someone in a helping role, and I'm ...I learned to tell myself that things are probably going better than I realize. Hopefully you will soon see well formed poops in the awesome that she is not dehydrated and is devouring the broth. I admire the scientific process you are managing. Kitty is so lucky, and so loved. Oh, as for the caregiver link, you can skip it, but I'll give you the first line, which is the's a Caregivers' Bill of Rights, and was intended for dementia caregivers, so most of it does not really apply. But the first line does: I have the right to take care of myself. Isn't that an awesome reminder in the context of caregiving? I guess I'm here to say to you, and to ME, that a rough stretch does not mean we are doomed. I have been flirting with disaster lately, so I'm in that zone, not wanting to creep off the mission. The out of control state is my shadow. Lately, my co-workers are having a weight loss competition with weekly weigh-ins at work. The younger of the two is also taking contrave, and is quite competitive. The other one is doing it really just for support and accountability. I keep telling them they are more than a number on a scale! Anyway, on Friday, the go-getter young one offered me a taffy. I declined, as I always do, then I changed my mind. And then, what happened to me? The dragon was out in all her fury, and I binged on sugar for two days. 1 1/2 days but who's counting. I've pretty much recovered my good sense, but yesterday was an 11 hour work day, and I ate out twice, and had bread both I'm taking today off to unpack into my new shelving (the office, and the mud room) and to cook up some good food. I observed that it hurt me more psychologically than physically, as far as I can tell. I decided that any negative analysis is just an idea I make up in my head, and I am in charge. So I have taken charge. I know the time is ripe to create a new morning routine, to create the life I want in all this newness, so I have been journaling in the morning, and today I also spent a lot of time on the floor doing yoga and meditating. I'm recovering from a fall the other day - literally tripped over boxes, but I know it's partly because I haven't been exercising and so my body awareness is not as keen as it could be...I know I need to get up early, and get all the conscious movement in the early morning if I'm going to be consistent- there's just no way around that is what I'm working towards. Consistency. My husband hates to go to bed early, but I don't mind - it's what I need, and it's what I have to do. I'm sorry that you've had a sinus infection - so does my husband - that is miserable. I've had my head in the sand and I'm embarrassed to say I didn't even know about the flooding in your area! OMG. I'm glad you're safe, and that you'll get some sunshine today! Hang in there Holly, this too (cat poop included) will all pass. Yay for your husband's hash! Today I'm making MJ's Bora Bora fireballs with sunshine sauce, a favorite I haven't made in years. Also Lebanese hash soon, and apple chicken sliders....I picked up a ton of fresh produce from my local CSA so it's begin-again time. Will things calm down at work in the foreseeable future?
  11. @hollysmokes How is kitty? How are times of late? Send news when you can = ) I am missing you.
  12. The Moroccan chicken was a big hit. Also, I was so confused about the ground coriander seeds in December. Do you remember? The cumin at the Indian market, etc? All this time, I had ground coriander in my kitchen, I just went blank and dumb about it, and also just lost track of it in my spice larder. Coriander, or course! Anyway, it was yummy. Thank your mum for me!
  13. You really are being deluged across the board. At our house, we offer you a hearty, sincere: "W O E !" with the head back, and the jaw dropped. Repeat until everyone in the room is doing it. (That's how we do it.) Kitty has high standards and discerning taste, I respect that. Woe aside, I have a good feeling about all of this. We know that when we go to the effort, it pays off in spades with discoveries, and improved health. Better days are on the horizon. I can't help but think that when those better days come, there might be an essay in there about taking W30 to a new level, with your beloved cat. But this is premature...I'm sure it's a situation you'd rather not be in. Good that she is no longer dehydrated! What day next week will you weigh her? Toko-pa is a new way-shower for me. I listened to a series of podcasts, and now I'm reading her book. I know you have a ton going on right now, so it might not be good timing, but there is a livestream this Friday night 7-9 PST of a talk she's giving in Victoria, BC, that looks interesting. I'm going to tune in! You can find it on her website under events. If it looks appealing to you, it would be fun to compare notes afterwards! I know it's late for you in your time zone, but for the cost of $22 Canadian (about $16 USD) you can view it for a couple of weeks afterwards. Her offerings are really helping me. It's definitely the stuff of therapy, and for me, is not entirely unrelated to what we're doing here. But that is another story! It's also encouraging me to get back to dream journaling, and journaling in general, a very good thing. I'm sorry about your meatloaf. Woe! Did your palate tell you that the egg roll bowls were missing sesame oil? Or your satiation level? I'm going to make your mother's Moroccan chicken tonight! Yay! Last up was chocolate chili with yams and black beans (both, no his and hers this time...I'm calling it marital chili LOL) and I also made Nom Nom's kale sausage casserole, aka pizza pie. I'm also planning on trying out her orange dijon chicken soon. The freezer is stocked with ground chicken, like money in the bank, a good feeling. Oh yeah, I found a recipe I saved from MH for bangers and sweet potato mash with caramelized onions so that will be dinner soon, too. You helped me get a grip on this weird thing about not (always) sharing the W30 cooking. Thank you for that. He has always been so disinterested, and at times I felt not appreciative, sometimes irreverent...but not so much anymore, and it's crazy to REACT, anyway. Especially when one is reacting to stuff from the past. Crazy. And I love him, so I want him eating well. I notice that the artisan bread I get for him is non-GMO but the tamales from Costco are not labeled, and are probably this is on my radar, too... FWIW:’s-bill-rights
  14. Welcome back, Holly, it's nice to read your voice. I'm sorry it's been such a rough time. My sister-in-law recently offered some of her favorite sage words from Anne of Green Gables, that tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes. I am in solidarity with you. Same with the self talk...practicing not going there, connecting instead with the breath, the belly, the feet on the ground. I am reminded by Toko-pa Turner that time-lapse photography of flowers blooming shows that they don't open in one continuous movement, but contract just before opening wider. Can we allow for alternating phases of contraction and expansion? This is in the context of exile, her chapter on Initiations by exile from her book, Belonging, Remembering Ourselves Home. As for potato salad, yes indeedy: Elimination diets for kitties? She is in such good hands with you, mistress of Whole30! Beaver tails and all, wow. I feel relieved to know that since it is food related, there is hope for progress via experimentation. I didn't know, yet am not surprised, that there is carageenan in even the good cat food. I imagine that even a little bit of kitty gut health improvement will lift your spirits. So you are in a caregiver role. That is something I understand, and have deep empathy there.
  15. So sweet that your little girl slept curled up with you, that is the best. She must be very comforted by you. Kitty love! By now has the cortisone had any effect, tilting the differential diagnosis one way or the other? Oh dear Holly. By now, has the katt moment/day passed? I hope so! It's funny (but oh, not funny at all) that I had a *really* bad day yesterday, too, in the late afternoon. Was there something in the stars? There was a misunderstanding. Like an emotional car crash. I got my feelings hurt. It put me through my paces. I made it through a long night, and got up really early this morning and took action. Self care type action. And let the peace, insights and focus come to me, as does happen when I take care of myself, screw-my-head-back-on style. So, I renewed myself. Sigh. At one point it occured to me that there were gs cookies in the freezer at work, but I did NOT go there. I don't do that anymore. = ) That chipotle sweet potato salad is a-may-zing. I let it cool down a bit before I stirred the chipotle lime mayo into it, because I wanted it to be a little creamy, not melted. We both loved it and I will make it again. The chicken was good, too, and next time I will thicken the sauce with some arrowroot. Your fishcakes inspired me to make shrimp patties again and more chili lime mayo. Yum. Feeling bad that he hurt my feelings yesterday, Hubs bought me the Pyramid Composter (we had decided to wait a couple of bill cycles first). Do you use the critter screen and/or the aerator, or other accessories with yours?
  16. It's a big day, the vet coming out to see your kitty...sending good wishes and calm vibes for you all! It's great that you gave yourself permission to make the call. Maybe whatever the worst fears are, are just that, and this process could uncover that -- I hope so! Denial is a safe refuge...until it's not, right? Sweet kitty! Thanks loads for both of those links. The vertigo is either getting better, or I'm getting used to it. It's a fascinating process, that head tilting therapy...I wonder what can be done to urge the membrane to grow back that seems to keep the crystals in place. Oh! And the Pyramid Composter looks awesome! I have been concerned about animals, even though there's no meat/oil/bones, etc...and just looking at this, and watching the video gives me some peace of mind. I'm going to consult with my spouse, and sleep on it, but I really want to get one. That's amazing how you have adapted to not having garbage pick up. We're adapting in our own way, too, though it is not as extreme where we live. It's unincorporated, but the county does provide trash, recycle and yard waste pick up. At the new place, the cans live at the bottom of the driveway, so instead of carting them back and forth, all the neighbors (5 homes) who live up here, carry their output in vehicles. I don't mind so far, and it's nice not to have to worry about bears playing football with the garbage can -- we used to keep the trash can in the carport with a 4 inch ratchet strap tightly secured. Once I had a nightmare of a mama bear and cubs, and woke up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, to the sound of a bear pushing the heavy can (2-3 weeks worth of trash) across heavy gauge gravel, making a terrible racket and vibration that I must've heard in my sleep. Well, no more of that...fortunately the bears' sense of smell is so powerful that they know not to bother the recycle bin, even if there's empty cat food cans in there (one of us rinses them, the other one doesn't, can you guess?). To my nose, the fractionated coconut oil does not have a smell. It's a little spendy, but probably less than or same as the jojoba oil. My husband is a super-lather face washer, and doesn't rinse it off enough, in my opinion, though I've never said anything. I really suspect this is the cause of "oily" skin...I mean, if soap dries it out, the skin produces oil, right? I learned that as a teen, using clay face masks. Oil city! I suppose if it were causing my dear one break-outs, I would offer counsel, too. I suppose it's asking too much of either of them to treat one half of the face in the familiar way, and the other half in a new way, and see what happens, or just cold turkey try something new. Glad you're getting moved in and problems solved with the new computer! I still haven't made the chipotle yet...but I have chicken thighs thawing, and I hope after work I have the energy to make the chicken, and the potatoes......I'm planning to use this kind of seasoning on the chicken, sans the instant Pot At this point it's feeling very homey, the way I want it...I have to patiently wait for the two chrome shelving units I special ordered from Lowe's - one for a big closet off the dining room, one for the pantry -- before I can finish things up. But we can relax and enjoy now! What a crazy 10 weeks! I'll be thinking of your kitty - xo
  17. Oh, the unwanted education that we get with these computer upgrades. I laughed (affectionately) to read about the dynamic with your husband. I can relate! Leave me alone. Help, please. Okay now leave me alone. I have to think it through for myself. That sounds like marriage as I know it! I'm also relating to taking respite from the madness by cooking up in the kitchen. A time to restore sanity, and nourish! A new computer is a virtual/mental form of moving residence, uprooting, very stressful. Deep sigh! I wonder, is there a new version of the recipe software that can read your files? We are creatures of habit aren't we? Recipes are as precious as family photos in a way, not to be lost! Are you finding out how flexible and adaptable you are? Is movement helping with your coping and mood? Speaking of that, I woke up this morning with my 4-5 morning of movement vow. Just as I said I would, I got out on our steep hill. When I got to the top, I looked at my neighbor's no trespassing sign, and adjacent from there is an old car, and a somewhat inviting open space that looked like it would lead somewhere, but in the opposite direction of her property. Nothing like exploring a new trail! It seems to be an old road that has been overgrown from lack of use. No boot or animal tracks, either, from what I could see. I went up, up, up. Nice views up there, huge trees, and even some huge nests, probably ravens. Do you have ravens in your area? I noticed what appeared to be predator scat, probably mountain lion, so i didn't go very far, probably .2 mile or so before turning back. I'll go back with my trekking poles, for safety, but also for my knees on the way down. I'll also ask another (more friendly) neighbor whose property it is and get more information. But, it was FUN. When I came home I enjoyed my first proper yoga session since we moved, since last night we finally unpacked the last of the boxes that were making an island in the living room. We arranged the furniture, and I have a yoga space! Heaven. I needed that. I did get a whopping dizzy/spinning spell. Did I mention that during the move I began experiencing vertigo? If I look up. If I turn over too fast in bed. Getting up and down off the floor. I'm monitororing it...but it's going on 2-3 weeks now so I'm thinking about seeing a doctor. Any insight? I'm with you on farm raised fish! Argh! Back in 2003 I had a big hives break-out after eating salmon tacos at a favorite joint, and determined that the salmon was farmed. It took me three years before I was willing to challenge it with any seafood. But it was a forever-end to farm-raised fish. It's totally inhumane and unreasonable for everything you said. Just, no. Insert emoji with a tear in her eye. That's cool about the jojoba oil being so close to the sebum of the skin. You'll have to let me know how it compares after you try other carriers. Using lotion to wash my face was a revelation several years ago. I tried it when I noticed that the expensive face wash for sensitive skin felt just like my body lotion. Makes sense not to use anything that makes a lather on your face. I hope your husband will try it. Now I use fractionated coconut oil with EOs - currently the same combo to match my face cream. Using the washcloth (with the residual EOs and oil) over my eyes is also extending the anti-microbial benefits to the base of my lashes - cleaner, less sandy/inflamed, a big plus. I love it that it's cheaper, just a few simple ingredients, and that I can make it myself. Win! Is your husband scientifically inclined? It could be an experiment. I know a lot of people find it counter intuitive to put anything with oil or pure oil on their face, especially depending on what the skin problem is. It seems we have to find our own way to these things, and own them. Is there a way to let it be his idea? That is always the best. Oh, I know, hoarding the good food....I should be happy he likes the W30 food, and I just seems to never end, the kitchen time. I can't wrap my head around two people polishing off two lbs of meat in two sittings (I finished them at breakfast today...goodbye dear sweet cakes). And that was the last of the ground chicken until I can get back to town. Next up...probably chicken thighs to go with the chipotle lime sweet potatoes. Oh, I'm inspired by your fish cakes and the mayo you seasoned....I need to make some of that garlic lime manna, myself! Seedlings! Oh yes, don't miss the bus this year, I want to know all about it! I have a greenhouse as I think I mentioned, but I'm inclined to iat, and dream of next year, and meanwhile, just watch what I already have here as it blooms. I'll keep you posted! There is a terraced garden down the slope towards the main road - the driveway we share with 4 neighbors winds around this terraced area and the greenhouse. For sure there are grapevines, and what look like live Christmas trees that he planted. There's lots of lavender. Also pyracantha, which I'm not sure how I feel about. Afew daffodils just came up, and I'm watching some kind of lily, that I think might be cala lilies, though they took another freeze last night. Closer to the house there is a crepe myrtle, and in the back three fruit trees that I'm watching with great curiosity - no idea what they are. The seller was not friendly...we never met him, but hear he was unhappy and unapproachable, so I feel shy to ask any questions, and don't mind the suspense. But next year I think I will make plans for that greenhouse, and by then I will be a more adept composter. Do you compost? I'll bet you do!! First-timer here, I have a bed of leaves and other brown matter out back, and am collecting my first bucket of produce/kitchen scraps. If you have any favorite websites or insight on composting I'm all ears. I'm just using a pile, and am about to buy a pitchfork. It gives me butterflies in my stomach, and that's not vertigo, LOL. I've LONG wanted to compost and reduce the garbage output, reduce our carbon footprint, slow climate change, even just a little, and of course feed the worms and other smaller creatures. Since it's winter I'll have to cover it with a tarp...I just know you have a lot on this!
  18. Hope you're having some fun with the new computer! I've never used jojoba oil before, but I think it's not supposed to have a smell. I wonder if it's gone rancid? If so, buttery is preferable to some other rancid oil smells I've encountered. Overall do you like the lotion? Do you like it enough to make it again? I had a breakthrough last week with my two-ingredient face cream. Instead of putting the shea butter on the double boiler and letting it slowly melt down to liquid, I nuked it for 10 second intervals just until it was soft enough to mixthe base oil and eo's with a spoon. It's got the best texture yet. Super creamy. I used sandalwood and ylang ylang. My hands are very beat up from the move etc, so I'm using it on my hands a lot too, and being good about wearing dishwashing gloves. I finally got a nice walk in the new neighborhood. There's a little-used, very private trail that begins on a neighbor's property, but she's not very amenable to people using it. She wants a phone call first but never gets up before 10 and there are dogs. Might not be worth the bother! However, even if I hoof it up and down the road from bottom to top a few times, that's a good time right there...not the same as a trail hike as I will encounter cars occasionally, but I will keep exploring. If I'm willing to get in my car and drive 10 minutes I can hike in the National Park....but I just don't want to drive! To walk is perilous....but I'll figure it out in the coming weeks and months. Weeding and gardening will keep me busy pretty soon here, as everything is coming up now. Are your flowers still on their early route to blooming? This morning I made a big double batch of chicken apple sausage patties, and also asparagus/olive scrambled eggs. I need to hide away W30 food I don't want to share b/c the patties are close to decimated! = ( Rain or no rain, I want to get out 4-5 mornings this week. Oh, and the girl scouts came to visit on Friday. I bought several boxes to share and stuck all but one package in the freezer at work. I ate a bag of gluten free cookies all by myself. 4 oz. Eek! Not sure it was worth it, but I'm back on program. Later I'll make warm chipotle lime sweet potato salad from the Real Food Dieticians that I've had my eye on for a while. Have a good week!
  19. Me, too. I've been really looking at my habits in the last couple of days. I have been compliant, but in some less than great habits of skipping meals (there's the real problem), and eating too fast when I do eat. The other day I stopped myself several times from going astray. So starting today, I'm eating slowly, not multi-tasking, and vowing not to skip meals. I know that when I get the morning routine of conscious movement back onboard that helps things fall into place in a big way. It's just been too cold to get outside, but there's no reason I can't get my game on indoors, so, tomorrow it is. An earlier alarm! Yes, we survived our cold - like you, we had always been at sea level, and even though I had all the outdoor pipes wrapped up tight, Hubs felt more comfortable keeping the downstairs taps on, too! I think it's fun to know what the elevation is! Do you know what the elevation gain is from the bottom of your road to the top? Are you still taking walks with your rock pal (is that what it's called?) Let me know if you come to any conclusions about your sugar cravings...are you eating enough? Emotional trigger? Besides skipping meals, I can be triggered by panic, fear, worry, etc...and sometimes the opposite, a really good mood comes, and I want a treat. But I was so unbridled in the past, just about anything could trigger me.
  20. O.M.G. What a scene! Hilarious. I approve of your berry habit. I'm trying to remember to put berries on my salad. For not-work meals, it takes a little extra planning/fussing since they're coming out of the freezer. One of the only things I miss about my old community was easy access to fresh, organic berries at TJ's. I ate a lot of berries in those days. As for the meatloaf, my mom was from the mid-south and her meatloaf had something tomato-y on it, too. I like that part! Thanks for the guidelines, I will try it out! I made the super-green sliders yesterday. I hadn't noticed that the grass fed beef I bought was really lean, and it felt like bison in my hands. I baked them in the oven, and they are pretty tasty, but they do really scream spinach. The texture is vaguely reminiscent of bread (hello coconut flour) which is kind of odd, but not unpleasant. My husband liked them, and made a Popeye joke. No ketchup, even, he just ate them cold out of the fridge, so they have passed the test. As you pointed out, they were a lot of work, but I kind of liked it. A double recipe made a LOT of food, which is awesome. I'm thinking about adding more produce to my beloved chicken apple recipe so will let that idea percolate. I swear, we do live in a parallel space, even the steep driveway! We have two serious hairpin turns, and a third to get into our actual immediate driveway. The 15 foot U-Haul made it, barely! Our UPS guy is as sweet as pie, but a total bad ass on the steep roads, which I admire. I can really see the advantage to having a pick-up truck. Alas, if the time comes for a new car, I have my heart set on an electric, maybe a Fiat, with a charging station near or in the garage. Oh, computer woes! As you know, I whole-heartedly sympathize! Those villains and their built in obsolescence! You are so wise to heed the experience of your brother-in-law and make everything as secure as can be. Also, so good to make the switch before you'd be in danger of losing any data. Are you using an external hard drive to transfer all your files? Good things do cost money, I'm glad you're not fretting too much about it. You're worth it = ) I hope it's lightning speed and gives you that shiny new feeling at command central! I never did get to the curtains, but together Hubs and I unpacked lots and lots of boxes. As soon as the rain subsides (could be days!) I'll transfer storage into the big plastic tubs I bought and get things out to the garage. Today I have to re-do all the exterior pipe insulation, especially at the well head because it's all falling apart and it will get into the 20s tonight and tomorrow. We will likely see our once-or-twice-annual snowfall at this elevation (we're at about 1,300'), and tons of snow at the higher elevations. It's magical, and definite cause for celebration for so many reasons, but makes me a little nervous...I'll try to enjoy it once all the pipes are safe! Did I mention I've got a convection oven here? Do you have experience with those? So far I like it a lot. It's faster, as well as the induction stove top -super fast. The oven is small, proportional to the kitchen in largest roasting sheet barely fits in there!
  21. Yes, the joy of rural life! Your tales of furry friends are very entertaining, right out of a children's picture book! No, I did not know that chipmunks would come in, that flying squirrels liked hot tubs, or that they shrieked. I might shriek too if a giant walked in on me when I was trying to take a nap/or a soak in an empty tub! I'm very interested in how that all went for you (and the big boy with the long tail) as this is all so out of my comfort zone. I've used a live trap once, and when I released the little mouse, it had pissed itself all the way to the release location. That's a lot of stress! Maybe I walked too far away, I remember just going and going. Poor guy! I read somewhere that most critters don't survive relocation. Whose research is that, and how do they know? Not sure...We lean in the direction of our PETA safe trap, but after a lot of reading, thought it might be more humane to get a clean, fast kill. I'm thinking that Kitty will spend the night in the mud room with her box and food and bed on the big night. Yes, we are still putting it's not a huge invasion, just a little scat here and there, and the cat sniffing around like a hunter. Today's mission is that Nom Nom recipe, but I'll make sliders instead of loaves (my husband may or may not turn his nose up at all that spinach, too, or, gasp, drown it in ketchup!), and then hand sewing curtains for three small windows in the bathroom. If I can get that done, I'm good. Every day we have to tell ourselves to stop and rest, and go to bed. It will all get done eventually... It's been raining cats and dogs...and there's a little water coming in around the fireplace -- eek! It could be worse, it could be...flooding? Your pizza not being swoon-worthy makes me think of how the palate changes...and MH's discussion about the super-normally sweet/salty/fatty qualities of non-compliant foods....could it be that our brains are remembering not just the flavor of old favorites, but the reward center explosion we experienced in earlier days? The jones as it got satisfied? Great that you didn't have any aftershocks from it! I hope your family woes are resolved now. If it should turn out that you do have a sulfite sensitivity, will that be a huge bummer, or, hard to avoid certain foods? It sounds like you know how to get sulfite free wine, and are avoiding dried fruits anyway (me too!). Amazing what we discover when we are willing to go to the trouble of these eliminations. Self knowledge! Freedom! There's no turning back, is there? I'd love to know your version of a not-gussied up meat loaf...the loaf pans made the cut when I was packing, so I'm thinking as long as I kept them I should use them more often. I used to enjoy making lentil loaf, so when I'm a little more settled and ready to do some conscious re-intros that may be in the future, too. The meatloaf calls to mind my college years...Mom was not a cook, but meatloaf was in her repertoire. My stepdad was the cook, and an excellent one! I wowed my college roommate with tales of his amazing cooking, and brought her home with me one time. Mom greeted us at the door with a happy announcement that she had made her meatloaf. When she saw she was out of bread crumbs, she used falafel mix, and it was pretty awful. LOL I'm not sure what I'll do yet with the counter onions, probably enjoy them as a side along with olives, and who knows, maybe they will be good on other savory things! As I get older I like onions more and more, so I'm exploring, as I hear they "cook" in the marinade. I do love the sweetness of caramelized onions, so we'll see how these taste! Your house with two kitchens and a mother-in-law sounds like it has a lot of character! Ours has character, too, lots of it. We told our agent we didn't want a cookie cutter house, and so here we are. I'm reaching for as much zen mindset capacity as I have in me, living with all the boxes and disorder. One step at a time. The good news is that the bed arrived on Friday, (Friday was cuhrayzee) and it is paradise comfortable. I love it. The delivery truck wouldn't fit up our steep, narrow, curvy driveway, though, so the dudes had to carry everything up. I helped as much as I could, huffing and puffing along the way with them, carrying the smaller parts. It all brought out my inner Jewish mother, and while they were setting up I made them sandwiches. I'm such a dork, I know. I'm back to 5 minutes of morning survival yoga. If the rain subsides a little, I want to make this my week to get back to early morning hikes/walks, and stretching. So carving out a space to sit on the floor will have to go into the fold of today's chores = )
  22. Hi there! Whew, long absence here! How is your lotion lab coming along? That's a huge bummer about the sausage, and proportionally great lesson/reminder about labels that I will take to heart. I see the weather is seriously cold back east, hope you and all your household companions are safe and warm!! It's been quite an odyssey...we only had it rain on us once last week while unloading the truck, but no big deal...since it's a local move, just 6 minutes to drive, we rented a truck and instead of packing it to the rafters, efficiently, the way you have to do when you can't go back and forth, we did small one layer loads. It was doable for the two of us, but in hindsight, duh, efficiency and helping hands make everything faster and easier. The upshot on a positive note, is that it was bonding for us in a partnership way. And I am very grateful for that. We did call in some muscle one day for just three pieces that we couldn't handle ourselves. So we had the truck from Sat-Thursday and now I'm doing the last carloads, and the cleaning. I wished I had used the self clean on the oven a long time ago. I remembered that in a previous place it was super, super stinky, but it wasn't so bad after all. Yep, it really needed it!! It's pretty chaotic because we have a couple of must-do-first things before we can finish unpacking, so we are surrounded by boxes, but step by step it should continue to progress in coming weeks. We're really worn out, but happy and sleeping well. Kitty did GREAT! She came out, curious and exploring right away. Unfortunately she took a tumble down the steep stairs to the "basement" guest room/office, scaring us to death. It's not really a basement, but it feels that way because it's kind of dark [will be very cool in summer] and we are sleeping there because our new bed is late arriving. She seemed shocked and sore, but not limping, just moving as if in general pain, probably bruised and strained. She made an amazing recovery and was soon, the next day, jumping to heights as she hasn't done in years. And soon she proved to herself and to us that she CAN get down those steep stairs, thank you verrry much. LOL We'll have to get mouse traps set up very soon, and she is already sniffing about and on high alert like a mouser....we wonder if she may surprise us. I'm worried she might get in trouble with the traps, which is part of my procrastination. We'll be using peanut butter, which is not a category or temptation for her so far.... On the last day with the truck, when there was to be no more cooking or eating at the old place, to the best of my planning, there was nothing to eat, so I re-ntro'd bread at lunch and dinner, to no ill effect. Then I explored my food freedom in a crazy situation. WIth the worst possible timing, my car battery started threatening to die, so I had to drive to town and handle that as a drop in. I was promised it would take at last two hours, and that they were open until 8pm. So I looked around and spontaneously decided to walk a block and catch a movie. Yippee, a chance to relax and take in some mindless entertainment. I had movie popcorn and junior mints. I know, danger...but the stressful part of the move was over, now it was just aggravation, so I could get back on plan like we've been planning!! When I came out of the movie it was 6pm and I had two voice mails warning me that my car was ready and they close at 6 (Sunday hours, an easy mistake, but how costly for me!). I ran as fast as my feet could carry me, hoping someone would be there to unlock and take my payment and give me my car. Nope. One $47 Lyft ride later, and a 5am alarm in the morning to catch a ride to town with a friend, they ended up discounting my bill 20% to make up for it. That was two nights ago, and I've been on-game, totally compliant since. So, so far, that splurge was totally worth it., delicious, and didn't cause harm, or derail me. But I won't make a habit of it! I've been eating a lot of big-ass-salads with tons of veggies, and loving it. On the stove now I have bone broth simmering, and a pot of beef stew that I improvised. Oh! I have a bed of leaves out back, and am saving my first tub full of produce trimmings for compost! Tomorrow I'll make a double batch of this, using beef and chicken I have a feeling this will be delicious. Have you ever made it or something similar? I'm getting used to the small kitchen. That annex/mudroom/pantry/laundry room in the back is filled with boxes to be stored, and collapsed boxes we are saving for a friend, but I did manage to kind of get the spices organized today. Maybe I don't have to build or buy anything, we'll see. Yes, please send me that recipe! Have you ever made counter onions in marinade? I"m thinking of trying that, too. Cheers to you!
  23. Postcard and first missive from the new house, with new, faster internet, yay!! I'm sorry your husband's team lost (I don't know who's been in the playoffs [is that what they are], and I don't know who the teams are), but you can still make compliant party food if you want to! I've been meaning to tell you that pancetta wrapped asparagus, pan fried on the stove top was delicious. I made a dressing to go with it of oj and zest, champagne vinegar, EVOO and a little mustard, and then used the dressing again on salmon. The leftover salmon went in scrambled eggs this morning and is how we powered through today's lifting, in the rain. There are a few heavy lifting things left to curse at before it's over...but at last, we have more belongings in the NEW place than old. Hubs is in the other room yelping at how fast the internet is. Yay! For dinner tonight leftover chicken sausage patties and tamales for him. Tomorrow I have no idea. Lotion news?
  24. I never understood mini-blinds...never liked them in any setting, especially if the views are beautiful! I understand privacy, but, but, but... We're still not sleeping in the new place, but I can't wait to discover the night sounds, and the river. We are close enough to hear the river, but high enough to be out of flood zone. I'll write more later, but I wanted to report in that W30 ways are buoying and sustaining me! Last night when we finished the heaviest lifting, I intended, jubilantly, to enjoy a gingersnap cocktail. But the kombucha I had with dinner (turkey wrapped cucumber spears and olives) satisfied the urge.Hubs forewent the Saturday evening cocktail, too, and instead we went to bed early, all tired out. I'm down to the last of my shea butter face cream, so i'll be eager to unpack all that gear and make up some more post haste. Keep me posted on your lotion making! On one side of the new house there is a little wood burning stove where the previous owner also had a modest barbeque set up - a small weber type thing with a little wooden shelter over it, and a metal plate on top (he took all with him except for the cozy little wood burning stove which I guess kept him warm while he was outside doing his thing)...I'm not ready yet, but as a first timer, I'll be investigating something similarly small and modest for "cooking for two". Charcoal or gas, that will be the question. Any input you have here is welcome = ) Congrats on completing a big project - hope you are enjoying a cozy winter Sunday at home!
  25. @hollysmokes thanks for the tip on the collagen being on sale at WF, what else did you stock up on while you were there? Hi @Elizabeth33 thanks for checking in, and for the kind are you doing? We're entering into the most chaotic phase right now. I have ground chicken thawing for sausage patties, and there are fresh veggies (!) waiting to be roasted. I'm recognizing the danger sign of not wanting to deal with it, on account of the mountain of work at hand, and that super powerful nesting instinct, so I'll have to MAKE myself get cooking tonight so I don't get derailed. I can do this! I'm sleeping well on half doses of sleep aid, and being okay with that just for now until I get settled. I've already taken down the bedroom curtains for laundering and storing, and so waking up to stars, clouds and sky colors has been kind of dreamy. @hollysmokes I love it that you have tree views out every window. Like you, we will be very minimal with curtains overall to take in the trees and birds...also, it will be fun to observe the light changing with different seasons, and I can always opt to take down the stairway stained glass during those between-seasons when we want the windows open for delicious fresh air, or for the light, depending. As you said, I am getting a lot of movement, and feeling a little muscle sore, a good thing! Drive safely on those icy roads!